Global Biotechnology Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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In the past five years, the global recession tempered demand for nonessential health products and reduced funding for biotechnology research and development from private investors. Despite these factors, industry firms thrived on the back of technological advances that facilitated new discoveries and stimulated greater demand from firms in the pharmaceuticals and agricultural sectors. Industry growth is forecast to continue skyrocketing in the next five-year period as investment in biotechnology from around the world increases, particularly from emerging economies. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the Global Biotechnology industry.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

After growing modestly during the recession, the industry will prosper with strong demand

There is a large range of firms engaged in biotechnology activities. On one end are small, dedicated biotechnology companies that are research and development (R&D) intensive and operate primarily with venture capital, grants, initial public offerings and collaborative agreements. On the other end are large, diversified companies with significant in-house R&D resources and well-established production, commercialization and distribution processes. IBISWorld estimates that Global Biotechnology industry revenue will reach $228.6 billion in 2012, having increased at an average rate of 10.4% per year over the past five years. Growth in 2012 is expected to continue its recovery, with revenue expected to rise by 9.9%. This increase follows a relatively modest 8.7% rise in 2009 as the global recession eroded demand for nonessential health products and easing fuel prices tempered the biofuels craze. “The greater effect of the global recession on the industry in 2009, however, was the reluctance of private investors to provide capital as the collapse in stock prices prompted increased risk aversion,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Anna Son. This investor reluctance eased in 2010, although investors remain highly sensitive to any economic weakness. Any prolonged lack of funding would result in reduced R&D spending, which, if not reversed, will jeopardize the industry's future revenue growth.

The vast majority of revenue is generated in the European Union and the United States, where the industry showed growth over the past five years. The industry's major players reported recent slower growth rates for US sales compared with other parts of the world. This trend is expected to continue over the next five years as standards of living and healthcare access improve in developing nations. According to Son, over the next five years, the industry is expected to continue to prosper, with the Asia-Pacific region, particularly China, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, investing significant amounts of capital in order to gain a strong foothold in the industry. Larger players emerging as profitable entities following the global recession will continue pursuing low-risk strategies of success, including buying out smaller firms to collect successful research for commercial-ready technologies, and partnering with academic institutions.

The Global Biotechnology industry continues to be populated by many small companies, alongside a few giant pharmaceutical, chemical and agricultural firms. IBISWorld estimates that the top four industry players account for about 28.2% of the total industry's revenue in 2012, representing a low level of market share concentration. According to a 2011 Key Biotechnology Indicators Report by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, the majority of firms have fewer than 50 employees, and the share of firms with fewer than 50 employees ranges from 43.0% in Japan to 90.0% in New Zealand. Factors that contribute to the low level of concentration include: specialization in certain diseases or products that are not transferable across other industry segments; access to patents for anyone that can accurately prove the worth of their discovery; the fact that the industry is in the growth stage of its economic life cycle and new players are constantly entering the market to provide niche services; the rapid rate of technological change that increases industry capabilities; the rapid growth of new markets and the speedy development of the industry in many emerging markets that have cheap labor costs and a more liberal regulatory environment. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Global Biotechnology industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Firms in this industry primarily engage in the application of living organisms or molecular and cellular techniques to develop products that are used in agriculture, food, industrial and medicine production.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique industry information and analysis. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith